Qantas’ commitment towards improving their service offerings for domestic passengers is on schedule. In fact it is ahead of schedule. In a recent announcement Qantas revealed that they are expediting the whole process of refurbishment of 16 Boeing 767 aircrafts with new interior decoration and in-flight entertainment systems.
In fact the first of the refurbished 16 B767’s started its operation today. It is going to service the four major Australian cities, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, reinforcing the commitment that Qantas has shown towards the domestic market. The last aircraft of this fleet of 16 is going to taxi out of Qantas’ Brisbane maintenance facilities by the March of 2013, a full six months ahead of schedule.
Qantas’ Domestic operations CEO Lyell Strambi mentioned during this announcement that as a part of the new In-flight Entertainment (IFE) systems, every seat of the refurbished B767’s will have an iPad and entertainment streamed to it directly. There will also be a newly designed interior welcoming the passengers to a whole new experience when flying with Qantas. He hoped that the new experiences will make people want to fly Qantas more often.
In order to offer the improved experience of flying in the newly refurbished B767’s to its customers early, Qantas decided to push the time frame of two weeks per aircraft and complete this sooner than planned. Consecutively their Brisbane maintenance facilities are being pushed to complete the work ahead of schedule.
Mr. Strambi went on to add that the initial testing of the new QStreaming service had received positive responses. As such, Qantas has tied up with technology partner Panasonic, in order to provide more than 200 hours of on-demand IFE to every passenger flying on Qantas’ business and economy classes. He also mentioned about the interior re-designing which includes new leather seat covers and the refreshed cabin which includes new carpets, lighting systems, curtains and dividers among other changes.
Qantas’ passengers were the first in the world of commercial aviation to have reviewed the new Wi-Fi entertainment systems introduced by them. They loved it and rated it highly. As such Qantas is trying to redefine this technology and use it to establish a new standard in IFE.
Qantas’s current domestic fleet comprises both B767 and Airbus A330’s. A scheduled phasing out of B767 has been planned which will see more A330’s being added to the fleet starting November 2012, until the final retirement of all B767’s by the middle of 2015.